The San Francisco Giants came out of the All-Star break carrying some momentum, and we all clamored for them to do the honorable thing and Beat LA.
They did not.
Now they get a chance for a redo. After getting swept in a four-game series by the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Giants get to host LA for another four-game series.
Redemption time? We can certainly hope.
The trade deadline, which is Tuesday, hangs over the series to begin things. The two Giants who have been most prominently mentioned as trade bait won't play, as Carlos Rodón isn't scheduled to pitch until the next series, and Joc Pederson is currently on the Injured List.
But it looms.
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Where: Oracle Park, San Francisco, California
When: Monday (6:45 p.m. PT), Tuesday (6:45 p.m. PT), Wednesday (6:45 p.m. PT), and Thursday (12:45 p.m. PT)
National broadcasts: Tuesday (TBS), Wednesday (MLB Network, out of market only), and Thursday (MLB Network, out of market only)
Monday: Logan Webb vs. Andrew Heaney
Tuesday: Alex Wood vs. Tyler Anderson
Wednesday: Alex Cobb vs. Julio Urías
Thursday: Jakob Junis vs. Clayton Kershaw
Where they stand
Record: 51-51, 3rd in the NL West
Run differential: +31, 8th in the NL
Postseason standing: 2nd team out, 4 games out of the Wild Card
Momentum: 2-game winning streak, 3-7 in their last 10 games
Record: 68-33, 1st in the NL West
Run differential: +195, 1st in the NL
Postseason standing: 1st seed
Momentum: 1-game winning streak, 7-3 in their last 10 games
Season series: Dodgers lead 6-3
Three Giants to watch
Alex Cobb: Cobb has been on a slow mission all year to get his ERA closer to his FIP, as he's fought both awful luck and awful defense. He's starting to get there, as his ERA of 4.06 is now just really far from his FIP of 2.91, instead of laughably apart. He was masterful in his last outing, allowing just 3 hits, 1 walk, and 1 run in 6 innings, while striking out a season-high 11 batters. But the start before that was against the Dodgers, and it went poorly. His start will be a big one.
Alex Wood: The other Alex in the rotation was also excellent his last time out, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs, and almost single-handedly ending the team's seven-game losing streak. But, like Cobb, he struggled in his previous outing which, like Cobb, was against the Dodgers. The Giants have one of baseball's best rotations. To beat the Dodgers, they need them to be at their absolute best.
Austin Slater/Wilmer Flores/Yermín Mercedes/Darin Ruf/Joey Bart/David Villar: The right-handed hitters. All of them, including the ones I didn't list, and the ones that will invariably be added to the roster this week. The Giants are in a very rare situation, as they're facing a four-game series in which they project to only see left-handed starting pitchers. And really good ones, at that. The Giants offense is not bad, but it has been struggling lately. It doesn't get any easier against LA.
Three Dodgers to watch
Mookie Betts: It didn't really feel like the Giants got swept by the Dodgers out of the All-Star break so much as it felt like the Giants got swept by Betts. The Dodgers are chalk-full of elite talent, but Betts is that sort of generational, year-in, year-out MVP candidate that is especially painful to face -- not because of what he does to the Giants, but because he reminds you that the Giants do not have one of those players.
Clayton Kershaw: Despite the sweep, the Giants got to Kershaw in a way they rarely do. In a way teams in general rarely do. The Giants scored 4 runs off of the three-time Cy Young winner, marking one of his worst appearances of the year. But even more encouraging for the Giants is that the Colorado Rockies knocked Kershaw around in the only start he's thrown since.
Julio Urías: The Giants did not, however, get to Urías last week. And they haven't gotten to him all season. In three starts agains San Francisco, the lefty has the following line: 18 innings, 9 hits, 2 walks, 2 runs, 19 strikeouts. Not really looking forward to that game, to be quite honest with you.
It's prediction time. Please don't vote for getting swept.
Who wins the series?
This poll is closed
Giants win 3-1
Dodgers win 3-1